Luciano Pernier in Translation

The following prose work was written in Luician, a now-extinct Gallo-Italic language, by one of its last remaining speakers, whose name is generally given as Luciano Pernier, although that is widely believed to be a pseudonym. The text employs an array of devices that make it almost relentlessly untranslatable: complex wordplay, ambiguity of register and of syntax, and allusion to cultural phenomena. The title of the text, for instance, could be rendered as “How to drift off into eternity,” but according to another equally plausible interpretation, could just as easily be translated as “How to become nothing.” The body of the text is as follows:

It’s like a pipe dripping long ago, green pipes, a wellspring of sprinklers, a voice in a time without a place, the susurration of summer tree-leaf wildings and green gash of memento mori clouds, riboflavin children, totemic children, prototype fig-leaf green children stepping out the electrodebush and into a pixelforest of prestidigitator jacamars and ventriloquist quetzals, undergreen and overgreen and greenspun birds disintegrating and repixilating, rimes and rhizomes reticulating and anastomosing, pre-sheaves of nevermorrows on sheaves of aftertomorrows.

Or like letters that decay and self-permute, books whose words appear only once imagined, myths and poems and mythopoeimes in a panaesthetic translinguistic metalanguage, polytemporal libraries with cuneiform tablets and holographic databases, circular labyrinthine libraries of dreams at whose mouths lie the blinking green exit of the universe, pipes and exits and pipe labyrinths of pipe-dreams, and maybe it is 240 million years later on some Pangaea Ultima where double moons hang in perpetual sunsets as brightly colored jagamohana rise along a sky of impossible geometries, and a galaxy-sized garden (called “Abamnondent”?) spins at both edges of space and time.

The last thing is a profusion of chemiosmotic solar-wind-ion electro-glitch hallucinations and dreams, dreams of eternal clouds, oneiroclouds with customizable topographies, dreams of the pure abstractions of dimensions, shapes at once polychora and polyterons and polypetons floating in impossible synesthetic colors as Rorschach patterns bloom beneath your eyelids.

Then she appears, the girl with hair of tessellated foam-blossom. There are contrails where her footsteps fall. Her eyes are Fibonacci spirals, her ears are fractal crystals, and her voice is static and birdsong…

And in the Garden of Abandonment, a wind about nothingness blows through the absence trees.

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